In collaboration with the US Naval Academy, the first flight of our latest generation of wafer scale spacecraft (WSS) was launched on April 12, 2019 at 13:57 UTC in Pennsylvania and recovered successfully. There were two attached payloads  (USNA (blue) and UCSB (white) that flew between 99.5 and 105Kft at peak. We gratefully acknowledge the tremendous support of the USNA High Altitude Balloon Team. This WSS was 90 mm in diameter. More information on our WSS development program is here:

UCSB May 7 Press release on “First Flights”

Interestingly April 12 is the date of the first human flight into space when Yuri Gagarin was launched in 1961. He flew for 108 minutes on the USSR Vostok spacecraft.

Funding: UCSB funding for this program comes from NASA grants NIAC Phase I DEEP-IN – 2015 NNX15AL91G and NASA NIAC Phase II DEIS – 2016 NNX16AL32G for the NASA Starlight program and the NASA California Space Grant NASA NNX10AT93H as well as a generous gift from the Emmett and Gladys W. fund. We also acknowledge the support of the Breakthrough Foundation for our Starshot effort.


Below – Selection of images taken by USNA launch team prior to launch and during recovery. Flight path and UCSB WSS payload design  are also shown.



Below – Selection of images takes by UCSB WSS prior to and during flight using the embedded imaging system. The 5 MP images were taken every 2.5 seconds. Approximately 4000 images were taken and stored in onboard flash memory.




Movie of flight images at 15 fps